“Ten years ago today, without warning our world changed forever,” Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova said at a solemn 9/11 remembrance ceremony at the Fairfax County Government Center. “Not only did we lose thousands of neighbors, friends and family members that day, America lost a sense of security and safety. It was made clear to us on September 11th of 2001 that we cannot take safety and security for granted.”
Bulova praised the actions of first responders, including many Fairfax County Fire & Rescue and Police personnel at the Pentagon as well as those at the World Trade Center in New York.
“Our first responders acted heroically that day and in the aftermath, and did what they had been trained to do â€“ save lives, restore order, and protect us. Their actions on this day 10 years ago still evoke pride and gratitude in the community they served,” she said.
“Fairfax County has invested in what is needed to protect and prepare our community for catastrophic events â€“ whether caused by man or nature. Since 2002 Fairfax County has sought and received over half a billion dollars in grants from the Department of Homeland Security â€“ funding that has enhanced our capabilities to respond to a disaster. We have expanded our emergency response team from police and fire to include the Health Department, Public Affairs, and other County players,” Bulova noted.
“Our construction of the McConnell Public Safety and Transportation Operations Center (PSTOC) gave Fairfax County a central location and capability for unprecedented coordination of emergency operations. We established a County Office of Emergency Management. During these past years (and especially during these past two weeks) the value of this office and PSTOC has been proven over and over again,” she said.
Fairfax County Police Chief David Rohrer and Fire and Rescue Chief Ronald Mastin also delivered brief remarks at the ceremony in the Government Center auditorium, followed by a solemn procession to the 9/11 Memorial Grove, led by the Fairfax County Police Honor Guard and representatives of Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops throughout the county.
For a video of personal remembrances by Fairfax first responders, click here.